Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Best Of 2013

Best Of 2013 Honor Roll Part 2
Tony's Picks 
(In no particular order)

NEW HORIZON by The Answer
'New Horizon' is a terrific ride of an album that shows how joyful and exuberant music can and should be experienced. Classic Rock is alive and well in the 21st Century! Welcome back boys, so good to hear from you again

MADE IN CONCRETE by The Black Marbles
The Black Marbles serves up a heavy dose of rock and roll swagger that is guaranteed to rock and roll your soul for days. The Black Marbles embody everything that Rock And Roll stands for: lead guitars, thumping bass lines, kicking drums and swagger! A throwback sound that brings the blues/soul/rock style all together and ties it up in a nice bow.  

BEAUTIFUL CURSE by The Quireboys
With 'Beautiful Curse', they take their sound a step further. They always sound like The Quireboys, but they've also stretched themselves a bit. They've failed to disappoint me after 14 years of being a fan. I hope more people get turned on to them, because everyone I've ever played them for has loved them. You owe it to yourself to check them out, because there are very few places that you will find good old fashioned real rock n' roll like this.

'Jeweler's Daughter' is without a doubt one of my favorite albums of 2013. It is sonically a face melting platter of hard edged rock music.  It's an album that evokes all kinds of emotions. It will put a smile on your face and compel you to throw you hair around, no matter how much or how little you might have.

FOREVER by Maxx Explosion
Maxx Explosion serve up superbly crafted songs, unbelievable guitar work, soaring vocals, incredible drumming and a perfect production that make for one memorable and satisfying listen experience. Overall, 'Forever' is a must have album for all melodic rock fans who like their music on the heavy side. 

With “If Not For the Devil” FATE write the next chapter in the history of a long-standing Scandinavian Rock institution and it looks like a very promising future ahead of them.  You see, apart from being a very dynamic, intense and catchy album, it also sounds very spontaneous in its conception, a fact that may be considered crucial in the long run, as it is this characteristic that will draw you to the album time and time again.

DEAR SANITY by Lavalle
With, 'Dear Sanity', Lavalle prove that they are a force to be reckoned with. This powerhouse of a debut release provides hard hitting, riff driven, hook laden songs.

IT BEGINS by Black Rain
If 'It Begins' had been released 20 years earlier it would have easily gone triple platinum. Instead, the album serves as a much-needed antidote to mainstream radio and its stunted version of what rock & roll is supposed to sound like. There is a party packed in every track on this album. Rock & Roll doesn't get much more fun than this. 

TOUCH OF SIN 2 by Sinner
Without question, 'Touch Of Sin 2' has the "Sinner" trademark characteristics we have come to love and expect from the band. That, when it comes bringing the hard rock/heavy metal thunder, Sinner BRINGS IT! Hats off to Mat Sinner for bringing back some great songs that are truly classic! 

SIMPLIFIED by Burning Kingdom
“Simplified' is Burning Kingdom's third album, and the first with Danny Vaughn of Tyketto and Waysted fame. The first two Burning Kingdom albums “Livin’ Now” (2009) and “Down To The Road” (2011) were pretty much average metal meets hard rock releases, but now with the addition of Danny Vaughn we’re talking of a very solid melodic rock release.

37 CHANNELS by Tantric
Combined with stellar song writing and a vocal delivery that enables the listener to really understand what is being said. The Louisville Kentucky natives have put out a recording that quite simply put, is amazing. Tantric is a band that let you know that they know what's up, and they're not afraid to tell you either! 

TOMOCYCLUS by Sparklands
Sparklands have created a formula that works and have given new life to the melodic rock scene. I hope this album gets a lot of attention and airplay, and also hope it can also make it in the crossover radio market. This band is that good.

If you want an authentic rock sound and riffs that sound fresh and not totally re-hashed, look no further than, 'The Walk Of Shame'. Tricorn rock the way rock music should sound. 

AS REAL AS IT GETS by Million Dollar Reload
There's no flashy intro tapes,no messing around between songs, no fancy gadgets, just straight forward in your face hard rock played at maximum volume.

RESURRECT ME by Pamela Moore
Pamela Moore with, ‘Resurrect Me’ has delivered an amazingly powerful recording. It connects with you at an emotional level, leaving you hungry to experience it again. Deep, complicated lyrics blended with driving rock are perfectly balanced giving a unique sound that simply must be heard.

Venrez may be the success story no one expected. If these guys keep it together for a third album, who knows what they could accomplish. All I hear and see from Venrez are better things to come. 'American Illusion' is a modern rock classic.

THE WINERY DOGS by The Winery Dogs
2013 release, the debut album from the Rock supergroup featuring guitarist Richie Kotzen, bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Mike Portnoy. While all three have Hard Rock and Progressive Rock backgrounds, The Winery Dogs are working towards a Classic Rock sound influenced by Led Zeppelin, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Grand Funk Railroad and others.

Listening to 'From Ashes To Fire' will literally excites all of your senses. You hear it, feel it, embrace it, love it, and it continues to reward you. Saffire is a dangerous five piece band with an exciting future ahead of them.

ALBATROSS by Big Wreck
When was the last time you could listen to a album and have it start and finish strong with no fillers in the middle? I know it's a rarity, but 'Albatross' the latest release from Canadian rockers Big Wreck is one such album.

PEACE by Anders Osbourne
Anders Osbourne is the best Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, guitarist that you have never heard of. I have feeling after people hear his latest release, 'Peace', Anders Osbourne will break to an even wider audience and becomea household name. It's powerfully raw, bringing to light the ups and downs of modern life with his amazingly guitar work. This album will touch you on so many levels.

COLUMBUS WAY by Smokey Fingers
Smokey Fingers brings a fresh new edge to a genre of music that may not have been heard much outside "Classic Rock" radio. This is Southern Rock the way it should be played, the louder its played the better it sounds. It is un apologetic in how hard it will kick your butt and leave you wanting more. An excellent surprise! 

'The Way Life Goes', is a spectacular album that all fans of Cinderella, or even all rock fans for that matter, will enjoy. This is pure Tom Keifer, and it is proof of why he has longevity, while others just fade away .You deserve it all Tom, thanks for not quitting on us.

KING OF CONFLICT by Virginmarys
British breakthrough band The Virginmarys are a powerhouse trio who've spent the past two years tearing through Europe with a sound the BBC hailed as "raw, intoxicating rock and roll in the finest traditions of the genre." The big, bouncy and bombastic album captures The Virginmarys at their thrilling best.

WE DON'T BELONG by Degreed
If you enjoyed Degreed's debut album at all, you'll enjoy this for sure. They just don't make bands like this anymore and that makes Degreed all the more special.  If your cup of tea is melodic hard rock that runs on intensity and heritage, 'We Don't Belong' by Degreed is the ideal propostion.

HEY! HELLO! by Hey! Hello!
Hey! Hello!’s debut was funded by fans as an exclusive one time deal. They were asked if they mind it being released commercially to the world. They replied with an astounding, YES! So, here it is in all its glory for music fans around the world to enjoy! Heads up, this is one of those albums you are going to listening to over and over again! Hitting “Repeat” is high on an album like this, it’s that good. Cheers to Ginger and Victoria for an outstanding job!

'Heresy And Creed' will prove once again that when it comes making great melodic rock music, Ten are at the top of the genre and the top of their game. If Ten has somehow dropped off your radar as of late, 'Heresy and Creed' will make you a Ten fan all over again!

'Taste Of Voodoo' has impeccable timing, along with maniacal free styling by all the band members truly shows the power, control and skill each man has over his instrument of choice. for a motivator and a real inspirational record, 'Taste Of Voodoo' shouts out loud. It is nothing other than pure emotion and power put into a recording. For music that hits harder than a sledgehammer this is it.

THIS SAVAGE LAND by The Black Spiders
The vibe of this album is get up and groove. According to the band, their mission was simple get in and blast out ten killer tracks that beat the listener into rock n roll euphoria! Well folks, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! 

by Mind Of Doll
Simply put, Mind Of Doll play kick-ass, butt-stomping rock music loaded with tons of attitude that will leave you battered but begging for more. It'll make you grab a guitar, a tennis racket, or even a broom handle, and rock out in your bedroom like a madman. The bottom line, this is one great album, and a must for all fans of hard rock These guys are THE REAL DEAL. 

by Saga
'Spin It Again! - Live in Munich' is a must for any fan of rock/prog. Saga being one of the most obnoxiously underrated bands of all time really nail it on this release. The live versions of these songs are so great that knowledge of the studio versions is not necessary, that is a sign of a great live record. Which this CD certainly is. 

by The Ultra Electric Mega 
Truly a mind blowing experience. My advice, grab your headphones, fire it up the bowl, press play and prepare to take a "ULTRA ELECTRIC MEGA GALACTIC" trip through space and time! Hats off to Ed, Collyn and Rick for one hell of a mind numbing auditory experience.

STANDING IN THE SHADOWS by King King featuring Alan Nimmo
This album illustrates the skill of a real blues man who can bring out the history and the feelings of the genre and make it sound brand new. If you enjoy blues and/or rock blues music, I very strongly and confidently recommend 'Standing In The Shadows' to you. The album is so well done that I consider it a masterpiece.

PINNICK, GALES, PRIDGEN by  Pinnick Gales Pridgen 
Pinnick Gales Pridgen is: dUg Pinnick (King s X), Eric Gales (Eric Gales Band, Lauryn Hill) and Thomas Pridgen (ex-The Mars Volta). On the band s debut, each member of PGP infuses the material with his own set of musical influences, transforming his individual instrument into a lead instrument. The absolutely stunning musicianship frames the melodies of these songs and catapults the music into the scattered realms of psychedelic blues, hard rock, and progressive soul/R&B.

SCORPION CHILD by Scorpion Child
Scorpion Child are the closest thing I have to that feeling I got when I first put Led Zeppelin's IV or The Rolling Stones, 'Stick Fingers' on the record player. I was blown away, just as you will be when you get your hands on their self titled debut release. Powerful, rocking songs served up by one hell of a band! Just one thing, this album MUST be played maximum volume!

NO AMENDS by Infinite Staircase
There is a palpable energy here, driven by a burning, anthemic rock `n' roll ethos. Non-hipster, speaker-blastin', crank-it-up and rock out music. For me it sounded more powerful on the second, third, and fourth spin (you get the picture). Overall, 'No Amends' is a rock solid release. Each track is fiery, hard hitting rock and bears its own unique flavor.  Infinite Staircase ROCKS! It's that simple and it's the truth.

MOON QUEEN by Lord Fowl
All in all, 'Moon Queen' is a hard, riff-heavy rock album, call it `stoner rock' if you will - whatever genre you want to label it. All I know is that Lord Fowl will raise the hairs on the back of your neck in ways only the gods of rock could do. These boys are good.

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